Perhaps the top policy wonk for Jeb Bush’s education foundations feels she can flex her muscles as her boss is raking in so much cash for a presidential run. Patricia Levesque is back and acting as if every policy must be run by her first. Referring to the announcement that Florida governor Rick Scott has suspended this year’s 11th grade FSA test, AP reporter Gary Fineout tweeted that during a senate hearing yesterday Levesque stated that she’s not seen the governor’s “proposal” and “won’t say if they support it.”
It’s obvious that Scott didn’t feel the need – thankfully for Floridians – to run it by her and her boss first.
Levesque’s hypocrisy was on display yesterday when she tweeted that the Florida School Board Association wanted to “pause school grades” because they believed that “school grades will drop.” She doubled down in the same tweet that the FSBA’s position is “clearly about adults. Not kids.”
Levesque’s own troubling record on school grades was on exhibit in her defense of disgraced education commissioner Tony Bennett after he orchestrated a school grade change of a charter school belonging a campaign contributor. Levesque made this statement in 2013:
“Commissioner Bennett and his department found and corrected a mistake that would have unfairly penalized 13 schools missing data for grades they did not even serve. They fixed a problem to be accurate and fair – any accusation otherwise is false and politically motivated.”
“A-F school grading empowers parents to know how well schools are serving their children, in a transparent and easy to understand way. In 2012, Indiana was in its first year of its new school grading calculation, and there is always a learning process when implementing a policy new to a state.
“The best thing to do is to lay out the facts, which is what Commissioner Bennett is doing. Political attacks will come and go. The focus must remain on ensuring every student has access to a high-quality education that prepares them for success.”
Bennett and two staffers resigned when Levesque’s “facts” were revealed. Emails showed that Bennett was clearly motivated by a ‘C’ grade that his favored charter school was going to receive. Bennett’s “correction” changed the school’s grade to an ‘A’. Levesque’s spin to cover for Bennett was a political action to taken to benefit adults. In crying politics, it was Levesque who was playing politics. She has no business accusing anyone with concerns about school grades. Let alone declaring their actions are about benefitting adults.